Notes: Josh McNary might get start

Second-year inside linebacker Josh McNary has been practicing with the first team while starter Jerrell Freeman rests a sore hamstring. It will be a game-time decision.

Second-year Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Josh McNary has been practicing with the first team for two days while starter Jerrell Freeman has rested a sore hamstring.

Freeman, the team’s leading tackler the past two seasons, suffered the injury during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 31-24 loss at Denver. Asked how he felt Monday, a serious Freeman seemed to respond with sarcasm, “Like a million bucks.”

Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky confirmed Friday McNary would get the start if Freeman can’t play Monday night against Philadelphia at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“Yeah, Josh has been practicing pretty good, he’s been out there with the first unit,” Manusky said. “Henoc (Muamba), we’ve got in there at times as well. So those two guys will be taking the brunt of practice time so far and will be continued all the way until Monday.”

That makes it sound like Freeman, at best, is a game-time decision.

“Right now, we’re just watching the evaluation of both of those guys and we’ll figure it out when it comes up Monday,” Manusky said.

Freeman had seven tackles and a forced fumble in the opener, 126 total tackles in 2013 and 145 in 2012, his first NFL season since arriving after three years in the Canadian Football League. While he’s been hurt before, Freeman has yet to miss a start in 33 games.

McNary had two tackles as a reserve at Denver. He signed with the Colts in the 2013 offseason after serving two years in the U.S. Army. He spent 12 weeks on the practice squad before being signed to the active roster, where he made 14 tackles in five regular-season games, then six more stops in two playoff games.

Don’t worry about Jones?

While defensive tackle Arthur Jones has also sat out the first two days of practice with a shoulder injury, he spoke at length Thursday about looking forward to playing the Eagles. When asked about his injury, he assured he was OK but said the team didn’t want players discussing injuries.

Jones has history with Eagles running back LeSean McCoy and calls him a “good friend.” They played against each other in college, McCoy for Pittsburgh and Jones for Syracuse. McCoy led the NFL in rushing with 1,607 yards last season.

“Every game is special to me,” said Jones, who signed a five-year contract with the Colts in the offseason. “Any time you get to put the uniform on and represent the horseshoe, it’s a beautiful thing.”

Jones had four tackles in the opener.

Center switch possible?

Second-year center Khaled Holmes (ankle) has practiced on a limited basis for two days. The Colts started recent-addition A.Q. Shipley against the Broncos after Holmes was among the inactives.

Holmes was penciled in as the starter at the beginning of preseason, but suffered a high ankle sprain in the exhibition opener. He has yet to start an NFL game. The Colts aren’t saying if this will be his week.

“That’s coach’s decision,” offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said of head coach Chuck Pagano, who will speak to the media Saturday.

Injury updates

The only other Colts player who did not practice the past two days was reserve offensive guard/offensive tackle Joe Reitz, who isn’t expected to be active due to a high ankle sprain suffered in the preseason finale. Pagano has suggested the timetable would be two weeks.

Safety Sergio Brown, a special-teams standout who missed the opener with a shoulder injury, has been a full participant. Nose tackle Josh Chapman rested a sore ankle Thursday and was limited Friday. Cornerback Greg Toler has been limited both days with sore ribs.

After resting Thursday, wide receiver Reggie Wayne was back on the field Friday. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw was limited Thursday due to “general soreness,” but practiced full on Friday.

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.


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